Production Budget: $8 million
Worldwide Gross: $10 million
I can remember the first time I saw Boondock Saints. I was going through my local Blockbuster (before most of them closed) and the typical busy body clerk suggested I check out this (for all intents and purposes) direct to video movie called Boondock Saints. The guy was practically selling this like some lost treasure of the aisles of Blockbuster. My expectations being at rock bottom levels because up to that point all DTV rentals were absolute shit, I was surprised to find out this one was actually alright. Don’t get me wrong, Duffy was trying way too hard at being a derivative Quentin Tarantino (which some may argue is derivative of everyone else but that is another discussion). In addition, the movie was juvenile, misogynistic, crude, offensive, and its morality so childish it should be written in crayon. But the movie was well made, the actors were giving it their all to sell the material, the action was fine, and at times the script was so moronic it actually made you chuckle. It was a far cry from most DTV movies where it just seems like the filmmakers are phoning it in. Don’t get me wrong, this is a crap movie, but I can see people liking this as a kind of guilty pleasure.
That leads to the overpraise and backlash of this movie on the internet. I hate to use the word “overrated” just because I think it is a trollish term. I think one of the criteria of being a film snob is being able to call most of the films on the AFI Top 100 as overrated whilst simultaneously masturbating to Andrei Tarkovsky. But there are a few films where I simply cannot get the praise for. One of which is Scarface. I can’t tell you how many teens I see with Scarface swag all over the place. It also seems like a movie for posers so they seem like manly men to all their friends. There is something about a guy who proudly proclaims Scarface is his favorite movie that makes me think they secretly have Sleepless in Seattle hiding in their bedroom. Anyway, another movie that got overblown is of course Boondock Saints. I swear, listening to some people this is the best guy movie ever and the greatest thing since sliced bread, and yada yada yada. It is talk like that which makes you want to take back all the nice things you said about the movie in the first place to slap them down and tell them how epically wrong they truly are. But it is now a half page on my word processor and I still haven’t gotten to the movie I am actually reviewing.
So with all the success it had on video sales, why wasn’t Miramax clamoring for a sequel. Well if you have seen the documentary about the making of the film called “Overnight” (which is a much much more entertaining movie than Boondock Saints IMO), you get a pretty clear answer. Troy Duffy is a complete egomaniac. The person thought he was Steven Spielberg from day one of shooting and he had no problem with burning non-existent bridges with people and pissing everyone off in the industry. I thought Boondock Saints II had about as much chance of being made as there being another Billy Jack movie. I was wrong as ten years later they finally gave director Duffy the opportunity to direct a sequel.
So what is this sequel about? Nothing really. The story is about the Saints coming out of retirement (why they are in retirement I dunno) when a priest is killed in Boston with the same MO as the Saints. Someone from the Saints or Poppa’s past wants them to come back to Boston and the Saints are looking to kill a lot more bad guys. One problem is this plot really makes no sense when you learn all the details. It makes no sense that Poppa wouldn’t try to get revenge on the person that put him in prison for the ten years since the first movie and it doesn’t make any sense why the mysterious bad guy drags the Saints back to Boston. And yes, I know I am harping on the plot of Boondock Saints freaking 2 but hear me out. Duffy had ten years to come up with a sequel and to basically prove himself to all his doubters and the best he could do is a stale as hell remake of the first movie that somehow makes even less sense than the original. Is it so much to ask that something…ANYTHING is added to a sequel ten years after the last one?
It really is sad that Duffy has to recycle plot points and lame humor from the first movie like trying to push out ten year old left overs as fine cuisine. All of the somewhat memorable scenes are paraded back out again to much groans of the audience. Hey Duffy, if I wanted to see the first movie I would watch the first movie! Even death doesn’t stop the director from going back to the well as we get several scenes of Rocco doing completely pointless crap.
The one person they couldn’t really get back was Willem Dafoe’s character and even for that they made a carbon copy in the role of Eunice (Julie Benz). I actually really like Julie Benz but here she actually has the most annoying role in the movie by far (and for Boondock Saints that’s saying something). She has the most over the top Texan drawl that she drones on for what seems like endless scenes of her talking and talking and talking. They might as well have dressed her up like Annie Oakley and had her twirling a six shooter. Oh wait, they did. I fucking hate this movie. The crappiness is compounded by the horrible script writing. The “witty” dialog damn near unbearable as it seems like you got a group of braindead monkeys all hammering on typewriters trying to recreate a Quentin Tarantino script and the director using whatever draft came out first. This humor makes Family Guy seem like Annie Hall. One of the people’s names in this movie is Kuntsler. If you can guess the joke they say five seconds after revealing that then you shouldn’t be watching this movie because that is the height of wit and cleverness being used in the humor. Seriously, this movie is one step away from naming the bad guy Norman Imastupiddickheadasshole. Ridiculous right? I mean, who names their kid Norman nowadays?
The rest of the humor is the typical misogynistic, racist, frat boy type humor you got from the first movie but also less inspired. There is also a lot of homosexual humor in this movie. I’m not saying you can’t do any of those jokes, but there is so much of it, it is actually distracting. It really makes you wonder what kind of hang ups the director really has.
I don’t know how much else I can really elaborate on how much this sucks without people thinking I’m just straight up picking on it. Even by judging the movie by the original’s standards I don’t think it is that good. Saints II, in addition to being dumber and more cartoonish, is just derivative of itself. It is a crappy repackaging of the shit we have already seen in the original with no attempts at bringing anything new to the table. I think most fans of the original will already have seen this and own it on Blu Ray but for anyone else familiar or unfamiliar with the series, stay far far away from this movie.